At Bloomfield Dental Center we like to provide our patients with dental information and facts that can be helpful determining their dental needs.
To understand how teeth can be whitened and what causes them to be discolored, you must first know the parts of the tooth that are visible. There are two layers of the teeth that can be seen, the enamel and the dentin. The enamel is the outer layer and is lighter in color and mostly transparent, allowing the dentin to be seen. Dentin is darker and yellow in color. The state of your enamel is what mainly what determines the visible color of your teeth. The thinner and more stained your enamel is, the more your teeth appear yellow.
One of the main causes yellow teeth is from the types of food that you eat and drink. Coffee, tea, wine, vinegar, and soy sauce are examples that cause stains in the enamel. Other types of foods, such as carbonated or citrus drinks, are acidic and wear down the enamel. Another cause is from smoking and tobacco usage, due to the tar and nicotine penetrating the enamel layer.
Although there are many methods that you can use to whiten your teeth yourself at home, professional whitening done by a dentist is the most effective. Even after just one visit, you will be able to see visible results.
One method of teeth whitening involves the application of a bleaching agent to the teeth. Usually in the form of a thick gel or paste, the bleaching agent contains hydrogen peroxide as its active ingredient. The enamel layer can be penetrated, allowing oxygen and other chemicals in the bleaching agent to break down what is causing the stains that are hard to remove. This process usually takes around an hour.
Another professional method of teeth whitening would be a kit given to you by the dentist that you take home. This method uses a similar bleaching agent but contains less hydrogen peroxide. A tray that is custom made to fit your teeth would be filled with this bleaching agent, and you would wear it at your convenience. Typically, you would wear this tray twice a day for a few weeks. Because this tray is made specifically for you, it will allow more contact between your teeth and the bleaching agent compared to other similar methods such as whitening strips.
Call Bloomfield Dental Center : 562-926-6502 and schedual an appointment or fill out our online form